GOAT CARE AND MANAGEMENT
Goat care and management depend on the
as well as production needs, the
environment, and facilities.
The young kid has needs for basic care very
different from the older, mature goat.
Goats are bred and maintained for :
Skins for leather
Commercial antibody production
Religious Taboos and Companionship.
As browsers, goats utilize land too rough in
terrain for sheep and cattle.
Goat milk is more digestable than cow milk.
Valued for the elderly, sick, infants, and
those with allergic reactions to cow milk.
Need simple shelter to protect from high
cold in winter and from heat in summer.
There are two main housing types, which
Intensive and loose
Extensive- loose or pasture systems
A combination of housing types is present
in village condition
The housing should allow groups of
Growing kids and
to be housed apart from each other.
Extensive-the flock/herd grazes over large areas of
marginal land unsuited to agriculture. The flock is
usually shut into a yard/house at night.
Intensive- animals are confined to yards/house and
shelters and feed is brought to the flock.
It offers the greatest protection for the flock from both
predators and parasites.
It needs increased labour and the capital investment
required for facilities.
Wire net is the most common conventional goat
Housing of Goats
Select a higher place for building house.
keep the house always dry.
Make the shed in east-west direction.
The height of the shelter should be 3 to 5 meters
Ensure sufficient flow of fresh air and light.
Prevent damping condition.
Goats are feared about rain.
Never let the rainwater to directly enter inside the house.
An acre land is sufficient for raising 100 goats
Shed premises should have sufficient plantation which protects the
animals from direct sun during summer.
At least two trees should be planted in each paddock.
Housing of Goats
Type of Goat Floor Space (sq. m) Goats per Shed
Dry Goat 1-2 60-80
Buck 1.5-2 Individual pen
Milch Goat 1.4 x 1.2 50-60
Kids (3-6 months) 0.5-0.6 75-100
Kids (6-12 months) 0.8-1 60-80
Pen yard/paddock : 1.5-2.0 times of floor space in shed
Elevated floor shed
Distance of 3m from the floor,
the animals are reared.
The elevated sheds will be
clean and urine and dung will
be collected in the floor and
once in six months.
This requires less labour and
more irrigation land for the
Its initial investment is high.
Rearing in mud floor
The shed should be constructed in
elevated area to prevent water
Application of lime powder once in
a month will reduce the disease
occurrence in the shed.
Once in a year 1-2 inches of mud
surface should be removed.
Importance of Nutrition
Many health, reproductive and production problems can be
prevented with good nutrition.
Poor nutrition results in:
Poor conception rates
Lower birth weight of kid
Poor weaning weights
Higher feed bills
More infectious disease due to
decreased immune system protection
As a general rule of thumb, goats will consume at
least 3% of their body weight on a dry matter basis
Goats require energy, protein, vitamins, minerals,
fiber (bulk) and water.
Fiber maintain a healthy rumen environment and
prevent digestive disturbances.
Water is the cheapest and most important feed
Goats are natural browsers and have the unique
ability to select plants when they are at their most
Green Pasture are usually the primary and most
economical source of nutrients for meat goats.
Pasture tends to be high in energy and protein when it is in
a vegetative state.
It has a high moisture content
It is difficult for a high-producing doe or fast-growing kid to
eat enough grass to meet its nutrient requirements.
Some Possible Alternatives
HAY – (Alfalfa, Clover):
Primary source of nutrients for goats in winter season.
moderate source of protein and energy for goats but
high in Calcium.
The energy, as well as protein content of hay depends
upon the maturity of the forage
curing and storage is also necessary to maintain
Silage – (Maize, Jowar):
• Made from forage or grain crops has been
successfully fed to goats
• Moldy silage can cause listeriosis or "circling
disease" in goats.
Silage is typically fed on large farms, due to the need
for storage and automated feeding equipment.
There are two types of concentrate feeds: Carbonaceous
Carbonaceous concentrates or "energy" feeds include
the cereal grains – Maize, barley, wheat, oats and rye –
and various by products feeds, such as fat, soybean hulls
and wheat middlings.
It is not necessary to process grains for goats unless they
are less than six weeks of age.
Problems with cereal grains is that they are high in
phosphorus content, but low in calcium.
Feeding a diet that is high in phosphorus and low in
calcium can cause urinary calculi (kidney stones) in bucks
– Most common problem in Bucks -
Vitamins and minerals
The most important are salt, calcium, and
phosphorus. The ratio of calcium to phosphorus
should be kept around 2:1.
Vitamins are need in small amounts. Goats
require vitamins A, D and E, whereas vitamin K
and all the B vitamins are manufactured in the
Coccidiostats and antibiotics can also be added to
the mineral mix or supplement.
Goats should have ad libitum access to clean,
fresh water at all times. A mature goat will
consume between 2.5 – 5.0 L of water per day
Kids health depend on the immunoglobulins
absorbed from colostrum for protection from
infectious agents in their environment.
If kids are not suckling on their dams, colostrum to be
provided within the first 24 hours of birth
Kids should be fed a minimum of 100-150 ml
colostrum within the first few hours after birth.
Kids should be started on solid foods early to be
ready for weaning beginning about 6-8 weeks of
Soft and tender grasses should be fed to the Kids
They should be given 150-200 gms grains (of nearly
16-18 % protein) per day, depending upon the
Dry Does and Bucks
To be fed an all forage diet, which will provide the
necessary nutrients for maintenance .
For dry does and bucks body condition and health
are the primary goals of a feeding program.
A few weeks prior to kidding, the does can be
gradually reintroduced to grain feeding
Avoid over fed bucks
Breed a female goat as soon as she is 7 to 10 months
old, regardless of size and weight.
A doe kid should be at 70 to 75% of her mature
weight before breeding.
Does should not be dewormed during the first 20 to 60
days of pregnancy because the stress associated with
handling and deworming may cause the animal to
Should be dewormed 2 to 3 weeks prior to kidding or
comfortably after kidding.
Supplement your does with a concentrate or hay, feed
it at night
Keep the doe on non slippery clean floor and put in a
pack of clean, dry straw.
Clean the kid immediately after birth.
Trim the navel to about 3 inches and dip it in the 7%
Care of Newborn Kids
Colostrums feeding within the first
20 min after birth.
Give sufficient area for the kids for
feeding and resting.
Dis-bud kids at 1 to 2 weeks of age
depending on the horn growth.
Reproductive Aspects - Summary
Age of puberty 7-10 months
Breeding weight 60-75% of adult weight
Length 18-22 days
Duration 12-36 hours
Signs Tail wagging, mounting, bleating
Ovulation 12 to 36 hrs from onset of standing heat
Gestation length 146-155 days
Breeding season August-January
Seasonal anestrous February-July
Buck effect on estrous Positive
Age of puberty 4-8 months
Breeding age 8-10 months
Breeding season All year
Breeding ratio 1 buck : 20 to 30 does
To improve the herd's productivity through general
husbandry, nutrition management, parasite control,
vaccination, and environmental management.
Appropriate rations and provide shelter
Hooves must be trimmed regularly
A constant source of fresh water.
Regularly check the herd for any diseases.
Examined for intestinal parasites one month after
Polled kids -rechecked for any genital abnormalities.
Feet must be trimmed before kids are turned out.
Examine the kids with neurologic signs, such as
Blindness or Nervous symptoms.
Vaccines and parasite treatments
Bucks must be given plenty of exercise.
Feet must be trimmed at least four times yearly.
Before the breeding season, bucks must have adequate
body condition and should be examined for genital
Signs and control of Disease
Separate sick animals from the herd and provide
Remove dead animals immediately and compost or
burn the carcass.
Examine aborted goats and submit to a veterinarian for
necropsy if needed.
Trim feet on regular basis to minimize risk of footrot or
other foot deformities.
Feed adequate colostrum to kids in the first 3-4 days
Disinfect the navel at birth with tincture of Iodine .
Administer preventative medicine to 2 week old kids
Vaccinate does during dry period for passing
maximum maternal antibodies to the kids.
Pastures are the major source of internal parasite
Provide clean, dry and draught free environment
Don’t allow water accumulation in the farm
Control rats, mice and insects
Provide fresh and clean water
Clean utensils weekly
During summer avoid overcrowding & minimize transport
Provide ventilation in barns
Keep record of all treatments
Cull goats with frequent treatments
Record vaccinations and dewormings
Castration and Disbudding/Dehorning
Avoid strong flavour in the meat, to avoid odors
Control aggressive behavior in male goats
Avoid injuries to the herdmates, to the owner
Vaccination schedule for sheep and goats-
S.N Name of Disease Time Table
Primary vaccination Regular Vaccination
1. Anthrax At the age of 6 month for kid or
Once Annually(In Affected
At the age of 6 month for kid or
3. Enterotoxaemia At the age of 4 month for kid or
lamb (If dam is vaccinated) At the
age of 1st week for kid or lamb (If
dam is not vaccinated)
Before monsoon (Preferably
in May) Booster vaccination
after 15 days of first
4. Black Quarter(B.Q) At the age of 6 month for kid or
5. P.P.R. At the age of 3 month for kid or
lamb & above
Once in three years
6. Foot & mouth
At the age of 4 month for kid or
lamb & above
Twice in a year (September &
7. Sheep Pox At the age of 3 month & above for
Once Annually (December
8. Goat Pox At the age of 3 month & above for
9. C.C.P.P. At the age of 3 month & above for
Kid or lamb
Tattooing - This is the preferred method of
The small sized tattoo plier works best on goats,
especially goat kids.
The numbers will grow bigger along with the kid’s ear as
Eartagging - Try to avoid using metal tags as they
Price for chevon/mutton has risen from Rs 120 per kg
to Rs 300- 350 per kg over a decade
Huge demand for meat during festive seasons
Slowly moving from extensive to intensive system of
management for commercial production.
Female goats not acceptable for meat relatively tender
male goats are generally used.